Home > Sport
Wednesday July 2, 2014 MYT 6:53:00 PM
Thursday July 3, 2014 MYT 3:56:59 PM
PARIS (Reuters) - Brief penpix of selected Tour de France contenders:
* Chris Froome (Britain, Team Sky, age 29) - also known as Froomey
* Best Tour performance: 1st (2013)
* Best other Grand Tour performances: 2nd (Vuelta 2011, Tour de France 2012)
* Top performances in 2014: 1st (Tour of Oman, Tour de Romandie)
Strengths: One of the best time trialists, possibly the best climber. Backed by a strong team, his speedy accelerations often leave his rivals trailing in his wake.
Weaknesses: Perhaps his confidence has suffered from his recent under-par performances.
* Alberto Contador (Spain, Saxo Tinkoff, 31) - aka: El Pistolero
* Best Tour performance: 1st (2007, 2009)
* Best other Grand Tour performances: 1st (Vuelta 2008, 2012; Giro 2008)
* Top performances in 2014: 1st (Tirreno Adriatico, Tour of the Basque Country), 2nd (Criterium du Dauphine)
Strengths: A formidable attacker, always on the offensive, a big plus in a very mountainous race. The only active rider with titles in all three grand tours. Solid team behind him. Confidence high after great season.
Weaknesses: Must do without key team mate Roman Kreuziger.
* Vincenzo Nibali (Italy, Astana, 29) aka: The Shark
* Best Tour performance: 3rd (2012)
* Best other Grand Tour performances: 1st (Vuelta 2010, Giro 2013)
* Top performances in 2014: 5th (Tour de Romandie)
* Strengths: A very offensive rider, very good climber with great grand tour experience. Weaknesses: Has a tendency to attack when he should not.
* Tejay van Garderen (United States, BMC, 25) aka: none
* Best Tour performance: 5th (2012)
* Best other Grand Tour performance: 35th (Vuelta 2010)
* Top performances in 2014: 2nd (Tour of Oman), 3rd (Tour of the Basque Country)
*Strengths: Versatility. A decent time trialist and good climber. Has had good results this season after suffering on the Tour last year.
Weaknesses: Has never led a team on the Tour de France. Prone to occasional off-days.
* Andrew Talansky (United States, Garmin-Sharp, 25) aka: Pit Bull
* Best Tour performance: 10th (2013)* Best other Grand Tour performance: 7th (Vuelta 2012)
* Top performance in 2014: 1st (Criterium du Dauphine)Strengths: Consistency. Managed a top-10 finish last year and seemed to get better by the day.Weaknesses: Lack of experience leading a Grand Tour team.
* Thibaut Pinot (France, FDJ.fr, 24) aka: none
* Best Tour performance: 10th (2012)
* Best other Grand Tour performance: 7th (Vuelta 2013)
* Top performance in 2014: 9th (Tour of Basque Country)
Strengths: Excellent climber. Took a stage on his Tour debut two years ago.
Weaknesses: Not a good time trialist although he has improved. Has yet to show he can handle the pressure of a big race.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot, editing by Tony Jimenez)
Contador injured in Giro crash, still leads
Contador survives long stage, Ulissi triumphs
Injured Contador retains lead as Italian Ulissi wins Giro stage
Jupha the trump card for Malaysian cycling in SEA Games?
No problem hanging out with George Clooney
Passion and food go hand in hand
Idyllic isle of dreams
Pac-Man: 35 and still going
Copyright © 1995-2015 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)